[Federal Register: May 18, 1999 (Volume 64, Number 95)]


[Page 27012-27013]




Copyright Office

[Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95]


Distribution of 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 Satellite Royalty 


AGENCY: Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

ACTION: Initiation of arbitration.


SUMMARY: The Librarian of Congress is announcing initiation of the 180-

day arbitration period for the proceeding to distribute the 1992-95 

satellite carrier compulsory license royalties.

DATE: Effective May 18, 1999.

ADDRESSES: All hearings and meetings for the 1992-95 satellite 

distribution proceeding shall take place in the James Madison Memorial 

Building, Room LM-414, First and Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, 

D.C. 20540.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David O. Carson, General Counsel, or 

William J. Roberts, Jr., Senior Attorney, P.O. Box 70977, Southwest 

Station, Washington, D.C. 20024. Telephone: (202) 707-8380. Telefax: 

(202) 252-3423.


I. Background

    Section 251.72 of 37 CFR provides:

If the Librarian determines that a controversy exists among the 

claimants to either cable, satellite carrier, or digital audio 

recording devices and media royalties, the Librarian shall publish 

in the Federal Register a declaration of controversy along with a 

notice of an initiation of an arbitration proceeding. Such notice 

shall, to the extent feasible, describe the nature, general 

structure and schedule of the proceeding.

The notice published today fulfills the requirements of Sec. 251.72 for 

the distribution of satellite carrier compulsory license royalties for 

the years 1992-95.

    On January 31, 1997, the Copyright Office published a notice in the 

Federal Register requesting comment as to the existence of Phase I and/

or Phase II controversies concerning the distribution of the 1992, 

1993, 1994, and 1995 satellite royalty fees, and in the event that a 

controversy exists, whether to consolidate the determination of the 

distribution of the 1992-95 royalty fees into a single proceeding, or 

to conduct multiple proceedings. 62 FR 4814 (January 31, 1997). The 

notice also requested that each interested party file a Notice of 

Intent to Participate, indicating the level of participation for each 

year, i.e., Phase I, Phase II, or both, with the Office. In response to 

this notice, the following parties identified the existence of 

controversies for distribution of the 1992-95 funds: James Cannings; 

<SUP>1</SUP> the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers 

(ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC, Inc. (collectively the 

Music Claimants); Program Suppliers; CBS, Inc.; ABC, Inc.; Public 

Television Claimants; Devotional Claimants; Home Shopping Network; 

Multimedia Entertainment, Inc.; National Broadcasting Company, Inc.; 

Joint Sports Claimants; and Broadcaster Claimants. All but one party 

favored consolidating the 1992-95 satellite funds into a single 

distribution proceeding.


    \1\ Mr. Cannings identified only a Phase II controversy.


    On June 4, 1997, the Office issued an Order consolidating the 

determination of the distribution of the 1992-95 satellite royalty fees 

into a single proceeding and announcing the precontroversy discovery 

schedule for a Phase I proceeding. See Order in Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 

92-95 (June 4, 1997). The June 4, 1997, Order set September 8, 1997, as 

the beginning of the 45-day precontroversy discovery period, with the 

initiation of the arbitration set for December 1, 1997. This schedule, 

however, proved unworkable, so at the request of the parties, the 

Copyright Office rescheduled the start of the 45-day precontroversy 

discovery period.

[[Page 27013]]

See Order in Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95 (August 20, 1997). In fact, 

the Office reset the schedule three times before establishing a 

schedule which met the needs of all the parties. See also Orders in 

Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95 (January 15, 1998, July 20, 1998, and 

October 15, 1998).

    During this time, the parties continued to negotiate among 

themselves. As a result, all of the Phase I parties, with the exception 

of Joint Sports Claimants and Program Suppliers, settled their Phase I 

claims for 15.5% of the total aggregate amount of the satellite royalty 

fees for the years 1992-95. See Order in Docket No. 97-1 CARP SD 92-95 

(December 21, 1998). Thus, the only parties who will appear before the 

CARP in the current Phase I proceeding are the Joint Sports Claimants 

and the Program Suppliers. The 45-day precontroversy discovery period 

for these parties began on January 8, 1999, and proceeded according to 

the schedule announced in the October 15, 1998, Order. However, the 

April 5 initiation date set in that schedule has been rescheduled for 

May 18, 1999, in order to accommodate conflicts in both the 

arbitrators' and the parties' schedules.

II. Initiation of Proceeding

    Pursuant to Sec. 251.72 of 37 CFR, the Copyright Office of the 

Library of Congress is formally announcing the existence of Phase I 

controversies to the distribution of satellite carrier compulsory 

license royalties for 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995, and is initiating an 

arbitration proceeding under chapter 8 of title 17 of the United States 

Code to resolve the distribution of those funds. The arbitration 

proceeding commences on May 18, 1999, and runs for a period of 180 

days. The arbitrators shall file their written report with the 

Librarian of Congress by November 15, 1999, in accordance with 

Sec. 251.53 of 37 CFR.

    On April 20, 1999, the parties to this proceeding met with the 

arbitrators for the purpose of setting a schedule for this proceeding. 

The Office announced the schedule and the arbitrators for the 

proceeding on May 11, 1999. See 64 FR 25374 (May 11, 1999). Copies of 

the hearing schedule are available at the Copyright Office upon 


    Dated: May 13, 1999.

David O. Carson,

General Counsel.

[FR Doc. 99-12480 Filed 5-17-99; 8:45 am]